Brown will fast-track agency worker rights

Gordon Brown has pledged that new laws to give temporary agency workers the same rights as full-time employees will take effect in the UK within the next few months.



The prime minister's promise, made in a speech to unions, dashes hopes among businesses and recruiters that the implementation of the law might be delayed.



Rather than postponing the UK's adoption of the Agency Workers Directive, which must be in force by 2011, Mr Brown wants it on the statute book in the "coming few months."



Speaking to TUC delegates in Liverpool, he added: "I believe that the fight for fairness must include agency workers and so I pledge…that when parliament returns our new legislative programme will include equal treatment for agency workers".



The Association of Recruitment Consultancies, which had called for a pilot scheme before full implementation of the directive, said such a move would "hit jobs and the economy hard."



Group chairman Adrian Marlowe added: "Forget Liverpool, union leaders must be living in la la land if they think bringing in the Agency Workers Directive now will protect one job."



"The government should think twice of the true cost of implementing the directive at cost in excess of £2 billion, money the country can ill afford.



"At a time when employers need flexibility and encouragement to take on new workers gold plating the directive will simply lead to greater unemployment."

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